BY Hugo Odiogor, Kunle Kalejaye, & Nkiru Nnorum
A fresh test to Nigeria’s sovereign status is afoot as Movement for New Nigeria has stated its intention to challenge the legality of the 1914 Amalgamation ordinance which gave birth to the Nigerian state.
The amalgamation ordinance is expected to expire on December 31, 2013, as MNN is set to take a legal action to ensure that a new union treaty was negotiated and entered into by the various nationalities that make up the country known as Nigeria.
Participants at Vanguard Conference Hall said the legal basis of Nigeria’s existence will expire on December 31, 2013 and “we ought to agree either to extend it or not. Yet some people are hoodwinking Nigerians and drawing billions of naira to prepare for a bash in a union that may not exist beyond December 31, 2013.”
The Secretary General of MNN, Mr. Tony Nnadi, said: “Contrary to the false impression being peddled by some people that “the basis of Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, we want to state categorically that such assertions are wrong and mischievous display of ignorance, especially by those who feel that they are benefiting from the illegal contraption of the colonist and jihadist expansionists, whose interests collided in the process of the scramble for territories and resources, belonging to Lower Niger Region.
“When the 1914 Amalgamation Ordinance was proclaimed, there was no evidence to show that the people or and the inhabitants of the territory called Northern and Southern protectorates were ever consulted to discuss and consent to live together as one country and under one constitution.
“We have carried out extensive research works in all leading British libraries and beyond. We have not seen any document supporting such action.”
He said the mission to Nigeria was to use military power to intimidate and subdue any resistance from the natives and to use fear and ignorance to wield the natives together. These, he said, were far from an altruistic motive to build a new nation that will harness the energy and resources of its people and territory to develop into a prosperous nation.
He said: “As a military man, Lugard’s mission to Nigeria on his posting from India, was to ensure a military conquest of the new country and to use force to quell any rebellion that might arise from the amalgamation ordinance, Nigerian nationalists opposed all the constitutions that came from 1914 to 1954, but the British were smart as to keep the colonial ordinance of amalgamation away from the nationalists to avoid a possible legal challenge and confrontation.”
He said while the idea of the proposed national conference by the Jonathan administration was desirable and welcomed, the time had come for Nigerians to take a second look at the legal basis for the existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity.